Saturday was a very busy day, especially in snowboarding. There was a lot of drama and sick tricks. I’ve got a lot of notes so let’s not waste any time.
However, I do want to give an update on Caleb Moore, who crashed on Thursday. He underwent surgery for a heart contusion and then suffered complications involving his brain. Current updates say that he’s still in critical condition. My heart goes to him and his family. Let’s all hope for better news tomorrow.
- Why is it called Round 1 when Round 2 is the finals?
- Gus Kenworthy lands first triple rodeo Japan air in Round 1 of Big Air. Talk about throwing down the gauntlet.
- Triples are key again.
- Henrik Harlaut’s style is giving him high scores.
- 1980 is a year, not a trick (unless you’re Alex Schlopy). That’s the equivalent of five and half rotations by the way.
- Everyone’s reaction to the 1980 attempt: O__O
- Henrik is skiing with his goggles backwards and eyes closed. Is there a method to the madness?
- Jossi Wells gave us sick style and a nice break from all that spinning.
- A corked 540 looks really slow but still cool.
- Going 100 feet downhill via the jump with GoPro looks like you’re flying.
- There is such a thing as too much air. Ask Bobby Brown.
- Gus changes his mind from doing a triple to a double cork mid-air. That’s some quick thinking.
- The judges really liked Henrik’s nose-butter double cork 12.
- Apparently the jump designers learned a few things from aerials.
- Kai Mahler missed a few jumps due to a potential knee injury, but he came back to do a double Japan air and a switch double misty 1620.
- Henrik nose-butters his triple. WTF.
- Mark McMorris did 13 jumps in Big Air and remained in top condition for Men’s Slopestyle the next day.
- Rookie Max Parrot threw down some triples, which he just learned recently. Forget the White versus McMorris showdown; it’s Parrot versus McMorris.
- The Financial District elements crack me up. You’ve got the Deposit, the Down Payment, and the Money Booter. I suppose big investment = high pay off.
- Lighting was starting to affect the snowboarders. Only two out of eight landed their second runs, and the highest score was 65. Also, I didn’t realize they had different lenses for different conditions.
- Shaun White sketched in beginning of his last run on Cab 270 on rail, and that seemed to throw him off a little. He went down on a double cork.
- “Perfect” was the word of the day. Jumps were packed so tightly that you needed to be flawless to complete your run.
- Mark looked unfazed by everything.
- Max couldn’t better his score, but hey, silver is definitely not bad for a rookie.
- Peetu Piiroinen did well until a hand drag. He had a beautiful rodeo, but since he didn’t do a triple (the word of the weekend), it wasn’t enough.
- Instead of cruising through his victory run, Mark does a full run that included a cab 1260 double cork and a backside triple cork 1440. He wound up improving his score to a record-breaking 98. He also looked really good on the rails.
By Brett Wilhelm /ESPN Images (via X Games official site)
- Jamie Anderson was spotted hugging a tree in the beginning of Women’s Slopestyle. It’s her form of meditation apparently.
- Enni Rukajärvi had first full run of the day, and she was grabbing with a broken wrist.
- Rookie Aimee Fuller went for broke on backside 7 but wipes out.
- You gotta spin both ways to get the points. Cab and frontside look too similar in Sina Candrian’s run
- Enni was really good but reverbed at Money Booter, and the judges (along with the course) are just as hard on the ladies about little mistakes.
- I wonder if more girls are going to meditate next year. It seemed to put Jamie in the zone.
By Matt Morning / ESPN Images (via The Ski Channel)
- Later on in the evening, Elena Hight stomped the first ever backside double alley-oop rodeo in a contest! No one else has that trick except Shaun White, and he hasn’t landed it in contest. That ought to shut up the people who say women’s snowboarding is boring.
- Kelly Clark answered the challenge with a frontside 1080.
- Rookie and alternate Ariel Gold had a sick cab 900.
- “The girls want to rip, and the girls are ripping.” – Gretchen Bleiler (who needs to be a commentator when she’s not competing)
- Kaitlyn Farrington got points for committing on her grabs.
- Gretchen was recovering from a shattered eye socket and concussion
- Torah Bright’s strategy this year is “totally boarding”: doing all three snowboarding events. It’s really helping with her versatility and confidence.
- Wax tech = god (according to Gretchen)
- Not perfect conditions b/c pipe slopes
- Kelly has more technical difficulty and high amplitude, as well as no set ups.
- Great amplitude from Hannah Teter
- Kelly’s 1080 was 14 feet high. It was really hard to determine whether hers or Elena’s was better, but in the end, technicality ruled over innovation. Check out Kelly’s blog post about the finals.
- People are using “double rodeo” and “double cork” interchangeably. I thought they were different?
Congratulations to Mark McMorris (Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle), Jamie Anderson (Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle), Henrik Harlaut (Ski Big Air), and Kelly Clark (Women’s Snowboard SuperPipe) on their victories!
Prediction Status: 3/6
Quote of the Day: “Wait, those are girls?!” – my mom, midway through Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle finals
Trick of the Day: Henrik Harlaut’s nose-butter double cork 12
By Josh Duplechian/ESPN Images (via X Games official site)
Question of the Day: What IS the difference between a double rodeo and a double cork?